Eagles' Shuey can take AFL heat: Worsfold
West Coast coach John Worsfold is confident Luke Shuey's injured right shoulder will be able to withstand any off-the-ball niggle in Sunday's AFL clash with Richmond at Etihad Stadium.
Shuey suffered damage to his AC joint during the third quarter of last week's win over Hawthorn, and was in obvious pain whenever contact was made to his shoulder thereafter.
The 21-year-old remains a strong chance to take on the Tigers, but will be given a physical workover at training on Thursday before a final call is made on his availability.
Worsfold said he wasn't concerned opponents might target Shuey's shoulder, claiming his star charge should be able to hold up to the rigours of whatever's thrown at him.
"The game is a physical game, so he's going to get tackled, he's going to get bumped," Worsfold said on Wednesday.
"Regardless of whether he gets hit off the ball or tackled, he has to know he can cope with it.
"If he can take getting tackled and bumped in play, then he can take it getting tackled and bumped out of play.
"I don't have any issues with that."
"It was at its worst on Saturday, so he'll be better than that hopefully this week and it should be right."
Meanwhile, Worsfold said he had "absolute faith" umpires wouldn't be put off giving his team free kicks for high tackles despite calls from Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson to assess the issue.
Clarkson claims Eagles' players regularly collapse their knees and shrug their shoulders to turn a legitimate tackle into an illegal one, describing the practice as akin to ducking.
But Worsfold denied his players were doing anything wrong, and was confident the game's umpires wouldn't be influenced by Clarkson's comments.
"The umpires play a pretty integral part in the game. I don't think they need people telling them what's going on in the game," Worsfold said.
"I've got absolute faith that the umpires will umpire the way they see the game."
West Coast are hot favourites to post their fifth win on the trot when they confront Richmond, who Worsfold described as a team on the up.
"They've got a lot of highly-rated talent on their list," Worsfold said of the Tigers, who pushed defending premiers Geelong all the way last week before losing by 10 points.
"I expect Richmond to be a much-improved side on last year because they're in that phase of bringing their young players through, so there's a lot of natural improvement through experience and maturity."